The Nurse's Role in Relieving the Child's Stress
Turning passive experiences into active ones that facilitate the child's healthy - Problems-I adjustment to hospitalization is a major responsibility of the nurse. If a young child treatment involves routine blood sampling, explaining how his body replenishes its blood supply will help to reduce his fear. Assuring the child that pain from a needle will only last for a moment, as well as providing him an opportunity to play with the syringe, will help to cope with this fear of the needle prick. The child should be assured that for more painful procedures such as surgery he will be given medicine to make him sleep so that he will not feel pain.
According to Erikson, to work through problems, utilizing play is one of the most self- healing measures found in childhood. Play can also be a useful diagnostic instrument for the nurse. The child's play also reveals to the observing nurse any distortions or misinterpretations he has regarding his illness, the procedures of treatment, or hospital personnel.
Group activities help to reduce the stress of hospitalization for many children. Group activities are especially meaningful to a child who has to remain hospitalized during holidays or his birthday.
The child who is forced to comply with treatment and hospitalization without any involvement in his own care suffers a loss of control and lowered self-esteem that thwarts his development reinforces his regressive behaviours.
Self care helps to maintain and improve coordination, muscle tone and circulation, and it foster positive self-esteem and a sense of self-control. Active participation in his own hospital care gives the child a sense of adequacy to cope positively after hospitalization.